Interiorssneak peeks

sneak peek: sisse jonassen

by Amy Azzarito

Sisse Jonassen works in the television industry in New York City, and the bright lights, noise and chaos of her daily life sent her searching for something a little more relaxed, something that reminded her of her childhood growing up in Denmark. She found an online listing for a small 1795 post-and-beam farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, and even though it looked appalling from the outside, it was in her price range, so Sisse drove up in the middle of February to get a look at the place. It was love at first sight. The open floor plan made the home feel larger than its 1,268 square feet. Although it needed a lot of work, Sisse knew she could create something that felt rustic, simple and welcoming. Thank you, Sisse! And a big thank you to Emily Gilbert for the beautiful photographs. — Amy A.

Image above: In the four white frames is artwork by Norwegian artist Liv Stange. They are embroidered and remind me of sheet music. The dresser is one of those love-at-first-sight furniture moments for me. I found it in the basement of an antique store, and the dark, weathered forest green spoke to me in a way only deep green can. I feel calm when I’m in the room with it. The small Buddha I brought home from a trip to Bali.

Image above: I love the simplicity of the dinning room. There is something quiet about it. The Lady Godiva painting I found in a garage sale. I saw it from the back and was initially attracted to it for its sheer size. When I turned it around and saw the image, I knew I had to have it — even though I had nowhere to hang it at that time. The Louis Poulsen PH-50 lamp is a must-have for anyone of Scandinavian descent. It spreads light in the perfect way, with the bulb being completely sealed off from view, so it is glare-free for anyone sitting at the table. A few years ago, Royal Copenhagen updated their classic Blue Fluted by enlarging the pattern to become Mega Fluted. It’s simpler and less distracting that the original, and I absolutely adore it.

The rest of Sisse’s sneak peek continues after the jump…

Image above: The living room has great light, height and a feeling of space, yet it’s so cozy. It is actually a 2005 addition to the 1795 house, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at it. The floors are reclaimed wide board pine, the beams are salvaged from an old barn and the fireplace is from another house; it was painfully stripped of paint and sanded. Here I keep most of my finds, such as the slender Giacometti-looking figure on the mantle that I found by a dumpster and a discarded art-student project that I treasure. The two small paintings are cheap garage sale purchases, and the larger black and white painting I did myself. The coffee table is one big slab of wood, bent and gnarly. It belongs in the house. I bought it from the previous owners, who felt the same way.

Image above: You have to love NYC! I found this iconic Hans J. Wegner chair on the street. Recognizing it for what it was, I carried it 30 blocks home. To me, it’s an object of art and the essence of simplicity, beauty and function.

Image above: The kitchen was awful when I bought the house, but I saw the possibilities, and I enjoy a challenge. It was dark; there were no skylights, and the ceiling was only 6 ft. high, so you felt cramped in there. Needless to say, I gutted it completely, raised the ceiling, installed skylights and beams for structural support, new windows and a door to the patio. It took a month of working on it every day, figuring out how to overcome an old house with all its crookedness and weird angles. It’s now one of my favorite rooms.

Image above: I love having an upholstered chair in the kitchen and so does Fred. It has a removable slip cover, so I can wash it when there are too many paw prints or foody smells. It’s amazing how much use that chair gets. When you cook, guests will naturally gravitate to it; when you have breakfast, a cup of tea or even just [something] to read, it’s a great place to sit with a view of the garden.

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  • What a beautiful home, so peaceful and serene……
    I really like the use of wood through out the home, it really adds an organic feel.
    Very inspiring.

  • Superbe Sneek peek – I love how bright the house is. Can you tell me where those beautiful bedside tables are from ?

  • Really tastefully done.I would have liked a couple of exterior shots foa sense of sight and struucture.

  • Beautiful home! I love the yellow rug in the living room, can you tell me where it’s from?

  • I love love love the orange rug in the living room, do you remember where is it from?

  • beautiful and calming! would love to know the source for the dining room table. there must be a place in ny/hudson area to get a great big wood table!

  • Love so much about this one! The living room rug, that green dresser, the mix of warm wood with modern white accents. I have a lot of wood furniture that feels too heavy for my taste – maybe a good way to lighten it up without having to paint everything!

  • Love the kitchen!!! I don’t know if you did the work yourself , if so I’m blown away with admiration but either way great design. And I love the bedding too. I tried so hard to get that pattern to work with my existing collection but it didn’t. Love the combination with the pillows, throw and light blue. Gorgeous.

  • Wow!!! How inspiring. Can you tell me where your bedding is from? I love the soft combo of the brown, blue, and gray in the bedroom with the natural wood. Genius.

  • love it – what a natural blend of old and new. in the last photo i think Fred is going for a feelsky. =)

  • I love your home and your mix of modern scandinavian design (I want the pendant light…badly) with rustic. The green dresser makes my heart sing, I love your secretary’s desk and also your bedding (if you don’t mind if you could share the source for the duvet?). Your housemate is a cute little bonus too!

  • I’m so glad everyone likes my house. It’s been a lot of hard, but rewarding work. The night stands are from Hammertown in Pine Plains, New York., a great source for everything home related. The duvet cover is designed by Marimekko & is from Crate & Barrel. Yes, the rug is from Ikea, I loved the graphic pattern & thought it would go well.

  • spectacular place… cozy and stylish … clearly the visionary product of a labor of love, sculpted with passion and perseverance… you have a 2nd career as an interior designer (and decorator) immediately available if you ever decide to quit your day job!

  • I love this home…I love that I can spot Ikea pieces mixed into the space, but none of the rooms scream IKEA. Instead they reflect the homeowner’s love for simplicity and beauty;)

  • Just beautiful interiors! And, Emily’s amazing vision adds that extra something special. I’ve used Emily for my product photography and her combination of technical expertise and creative vision is a valuable and winning combination. Plus, she’s lovely.

  • Love it, love it all!! And not just because I went for rustic-retro in my own living room!

  • Holy gorgeous. There are very few homes where I actually LOVE all the rooms, but this is definitely it. I could move right in!

  • your home is a place i want to BE. so beautiful! you managed to make it all look so effortless, but still full of texture and color. thanks for sharing!

  • Fantastic space, just love it! Lucky lady going home there every evening!! Cant believe someone left that Hans J. Wegner chair out for the dump… ;o)

  • This is a beautiful house…job well done. Where, oh where, did you get that gorgeous writing desk? It’s just what I’m looking for!

  • The combination of the natural light and interior post and beam construction is just gorgeous. It is a wonderful retreat from all that glitters!

  • What a pretty house, I should like to live in there…………………enjpy your house

  • yes, paint colours would be great if you can? You have such a subtle palette here. Its beautiful. I seriously want to steal your kitchen – so light and airy!

  • I love everything about this home, especially the kitchen and the dachshund! Dying to know the paint color in the kitchen…

  • loved everything from the green dresser to the cozy living room and the desk nook! white and natural wood always look comforting and perfect together.

  • It has been a while since we had a sneak peek that I absolutely love. I absolutely love this sneak peek! Beautiful home.

  • Amazing combination of light and composition. The house plays like a work of art! I especially love the eclectic combinations of street finds with true classics. I envy the small brown dog that gets to live in this house!

  • I love the painting of the woman in the hat…Looks like it could be from the 1930s. I’ve a dream of doing a millinery-inspired studio with hats, mannequin heads and paintings like this acquired at vintage shops.

    And how about that washable white slipcover? Brilliant.

  • I would love to know the paint color where the green dresser is – I have a leather couch that color and I was having a hard time finding the right color but that color would be perfect!

  • That flooring is so beautiful and the blue and brown/grey go perfectly together in the bedroom. Thanks for sharing!

  • Stunning. May I ask where you go your kitchen counter tops and hardware? I’d love to do something similar.

  • Love every room but the kitchen especially. Any way to find out that paint color?!

  • The butcher block countertop is from Ikea – it’s very affordable. The drawer pulls are all antique and I was lucky enough to find a knob that matched to put on the cabinet doors. The kitchen floor is “custom”. It’s a standard wood floor paint from Home Depot that I lightened a bit. The paint color on the wall was actually inspired by the dry wall… I liked the way it looked when I hung it & tried to find something similar. It’s called Cornforth White 228 and is from Farrow and Ball.
    For the living room I found a roll of linen on sale and sewed them my self.

  • I usually HATE walls that are white/off white/light tan, etc. I was very impressed with these rooms though! I think the wall colors really look good against the beams on the ceilings. I love it!

  • Please please show the outside pictures of the house! Not many people can say they live in a house that dates back to 1795. That’s part of the American past and gosh what a history. You should feel very proud. You have certainly created a home that is both charming and beautiful.

  • I love your bed spread/cover, white with taupe color medallians or flowers.

    Could you tell me where I could get one like it?

  • I still keep coming back to look at this house months later, what an inspiration!

  • love the mix of old/new. Thanks for your green chest w/soft blue wall!?! My vtg green pieces can find a home in softest shades of blue paint w/white accents~reminds me of my garden!

  • Lovely!! Saw this photo in the new upholstery cleaning post and love love the pale green on the walls of your kitchen. Any way to get that paint color name? Thank you!

  • Hi Laura! I was looking for the same thing! I checked through the comments – looks like it’s Cornforth White 228 from Farrow & Ball. Hope this helps!

  • Hi Sissie,
    Could you please tell me where your kitchen rug is from? It is red and hot pink. I have searched everywhere trying to find one just like it! Your house is beautiful; great work,